Het zal u niet ontgaan zijn dat er een gigantische lobby op poten is gekomen sinds de corona-crisis om een vaccinatiepaspoort in te voeren om te mogen reizen. Op woensdag 28 april 2021 stemt de Europese Commissie over het invoeren van een “Digitaal Groen Certificaat”. Hieronder hebben we een mailtje samengesteld dat u kunt kopiëren en kunt gebruiken om naar de vertegenwoordigers in de Europese Commissie te sturen.
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Dear Madam, Dear Sir, Members of European Parliament,
On April 28th you will be called to vote on the ‘Digital green certificate’ proposed by the Commission. Please allow me to draw your attention on the important risk of discrimination carried by this initiative, together with a number of technical flaws of the proposed device, based on great scientific approximations and uncertainties
As a consequence – and although I recognize the necessity of harmonizing national sanitary regulations in order to restore freedom of movement for European citizens across the EU – this Proposal brings no improvement to the achievement of that objective, nor to that of limiting the spread of the virus.
For the reasons exposed below, I urge you to REJECT THIS PROPOSAL.
Confident in your commitment to protect European citizens and their fundamental rights,
With kind regards,
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Fundamentally, in the current state of science, all three kinds of ‘digital green certificates’ (vaccine, testing and recovery certificates) are highly problematic in regards to the objective of halting transmission of the VlRUS and will most probably generate dis criminatory situations, as pointed out in EDPB-EDPS joint opinion.
Concerning the vaccine certificate, there is still great uncertainty on whether a vaccinated person can be infected and transmit the VlRUS . The duration of the prote ction conferred by vaccines is unknown, to the extent that countries with high vaccination rate have already announced that vaccina tion should be undertaken every six months . Finally, the efficacy of vaccines against VARlANTS is doubtful, some of them (AstraZeneca) having already shown they bring no protection against the South African VARlANT for example  or increase dramatically the RlSK of being infected by this VARLANT (Pfizer) .
These issues were recognized by WHO spokesperson Ms. M. Harris, who said on April 6, 2021 that WHO does not support the introduction of vaccine passports. Several states in the United States have also rejected the principle of the vaccine passport  and the federal government of the United States has announced that it will not support these vaccine pass ports.  Finally, all official recommendations go in that direction, when they recommend that vaccinated people continue to apply barrier gestures (social distancing, wearing a mask, etc.) because vaccination may protect against the development of serious symptoms, but not against infection or against the transmission of the VlRUS.
Concerning testing certificates, we know today that PCR tests are useful to detect the presence of fragments of viral R*N*A, but may not certify the infectious status of a person. They produce a high number of faIse positives when amplification cycIes are too high and clinical diagnosis is not associated to them , and that’s the reason why WHO recommends, since January 13, 2021, that the result of RT-PCR tests should be used “as a diagnostic aid and not as a diagnosis as such” and “heaIth care providers must consider any result in combination with timing of sampling, specimen type, assay specifics, clinical observations, patient history, confirmed status of any contacts, and epidemiological information” .Despite these warnings, harmonization on testing methods and amplification cycIes for PCR tests are missing, both at national and EU levels.
In this context, a positive test does not necessarily mean an infection or a RlSK of contagion, but will nevertheless result in a ban on crossing the border, or the undeserved granting of a recovery certificate after 11 days, in the proposed system. In addition, the cost of a PCR test is around 50 EUR (for a family departure, the additional cost will therefore easily exceed 150, or even 200 EUR, depending on the age of the children) and obtaining the test results requires a waiting period of at least 24 hours (linked to treat ment in a laboratory).
For anti genic tests, it must be recognized that a well-performed positive anti gen test is the only way to clearly establish that a person is infe cted and cont agious. Another advantage of anti-genictesting is that it is cheaper and faster than PCR testing. Like PCR tests, however, these tests cannot constitute a valid alternative to vaccination or recovery certificates and achieve the objective of the Proposal of preventing the transmission of the VlRUS. Indeed, anti genic tests are valid only 24 hours and therefore brings no indication of con tag iousness one day after its completion, nor of a possible re-infection and therefore possible transmission. The requirement of a negative test, regardless of the type of test (PCR or anti-gen), therefore fails to contribute to the objective of the proposal.
Concerning the recovery certificate, the detention of a positive test, given the high rate of faIse positives generated by the PCR technology if amplification cycIes are too high and not coupled with a cIinical diagnosis, is evidently not sufficient. The presence of anti bodies in the blood should also be an admitted method of proving recovery. However, anti bodies indicate that the person is protected against serious complications, but not that he/she cannot be re-infected in the respiratory tract and therefore be potentially contagious. If studies have shown very low rates of re-infection (from 0,3%  to 0,6% ) after recovery, still reinf ection is possible even with an amount of anti bodies considered neutralizing. In any case, looking only for anti bodies leads to an overly restrictive definition of immunity  and does not take into account imm unity resulting from B and T Iymphocytes (“cellular” immunity) , which may last for many years (17 years for SARS corona VlRUS . Finally, the Proposal suggests a very short immune protection after natural infection (180 days max, which appears particularly arbitrary). This is not based on the most recent science, which indicates that the presence of antibodies, regardless of the intensity of symptoms, can be detected for at least nine months .
In conclusion, there is too much scientific uncertainty at the moment to be able to make up a system that would be fair, scientifically sound and non-discriminatory.
In addition, the proposed “green certificate” system, despite all declarations that it is intended to “reduce restrictions”, still evidently constitutes a pre-condition to exercise free dom of movement and thus constitutes an obstacle to it.
Last but not least, the conditions under which the European Parliament is being consulted on this crucial file are not up to the democratic ambitions of the European Union. On the contrary, European citizens expect MEPs to fully play their role, at a moment in History when their rights have been dramatically suspended.